Weekly Safety Topic – Concrete Hazards

Cement is the main ingredient in concrete. Calcium hydroxide is an alkaline chemical generated by cement when combined with water. This chemical can cause skin irritation, burning, drying, and cracking, opening the door to severe infections.

Concrete mixes often contain dozens of chemical additives that need to be considered before use. To learn more about chemicals in the workplace, consult the Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Here are some additional tips to keep you and others safe when working with concrete:

  • Use PROPER LIFTING TECHNIQUES when wheeling, dumping, shoveling or handling concrete.
  • A cubic yard bucket of concrete may not seem heavy, but it weighs more than a pick-up truck.
  • Test lifting the first concrete bucket to ensure the crane can handle the maximum weight.
  • Stay out of suspended buckets and avoid getting caught in a pinch point by buckets that are swinging.
  • Be careful of overhead wires when using cranes, pumps, trucks, or conveyors.
  • Be sure not to allow metal bull float handles to cross into open lanes of traffic.
  • Concrete that is wet conducts electricity. Be sure all tools and cords are grounded.
  • Any steel protruding from the concrete should be guarded to eliminate impalement risk.